Scale Back Alabama weigh ins end this Friday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 27, 2016

First, I’m excited that Escambia County Extension is meeting the challenge to combat obesity in Escambia County by joining the 10th Annual Scale Back Alabama challenge.

Obesity is a problem in Alabama. In fact, Alabama has the sixth highest rate of adult obesity of any state in the nation.

“It’s very difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of Scale Back Alabama” Acting State Health Officer Tom Miller, M.D., said. “The evidence shows that obesity has serious health consequences, and unfortunately, Alabama ranks near the top in terms of adult obesity. However, it’s also been proven that programs like Scale Back Alabama that offer incentives, education and accountability as a team member go a long way in encouraging healthy lifestyles.”

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Scale Back Alabama (SBA), is a free 10-week statewide weight-loss program, designed to help Alabama adults eat less and move more. The first SBA team weigh-in ends Jan. 29, and the weigh-out will be April 11-17. Scale Back Alabama 2016 ends April 29.

There are four local sites in Escambia County for those wishing to participate in the annual Scale Back Alabama weight-loss program. The sites are D. W. M. McMillan Hospital, Encore Physical Therapy, Escambia County Extension Office at 175 Ag Science Drive, (behind Southern Pine Electric Co-op on Highway 31 south), and Escambia County Health Department.

Individuals 18 years of age or older may participate by completing an online registration at and then go to an official weigh-in site in. If you don’t have access to the internet, weigh-in sites will have paper registration you can complete when you go for your first weigh-in January 25-29.

There is a one key change in this year’s program. Instead of requiring a four-person team, the number was reduced to two people on a team. It makes it more of a “buddy system” and it works great by allowing friends to be accountable to each other.

Each team member is encouraged to lose 10 pounds in a 10-week period. Teams who lose 10 pounds per member are entered into a statewide drawing for cash prizes. The first three teams drawn will receive $1,000 per team member, the second three will receive $500 per team member and the third three will receive $250 per team member. Forty individuals will also receive a prize of $100.

Scale Back Alabama fits into my role as a regional extension agent in human nutrition, diet and health, because we are focusing on obesity. This program gives me an avenue to practice what I preach. If you are interested in having Scale Back Alabama in your area let us know, and we will see what we can do.

Scale Back Alabama is a public awareness program sponsored by the Alabama Hospital Association, the Alabama Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

For more information, contact Tonya Thompson at D. W. M. McMillan Hospital at 251-809-8308, Kelley Davis at Encore, 251-809-0920; Rhonda Hall at Escambia County Healthy Department at 251-867-5765; or Carolyn Bivins at Escambia County Extension Office at 251-867-7760.